Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Homogeneity, heterogeneity and direct democracy: the case of Swiss referenda

By Abraham Diskin, Andre Eschet-Schwarz and Dan S. Felsenthal


The general question addressed in this study is whether voting behaviour in referenda conducted in a pluralistic society tends to reflect more the heterogeneous or the homogeneous characteristics of the society. In order to answer this question we investigated, mainly by means of factor analysis, all 538 federal referenda conducted in Switzerland since the foundation of the Swiss Confederation in 1848 until the end of 2005. Based on the extensive Swiss experience, the answer to our question seems quite clearly to be that the use of referenda as tools of direct democracy in a pluralistic society tends to reflect much more the homogeneous characteristics of that society than its heterogeneous ones

Topics: JF Political institutions (General)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0008423907070138
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    1. (2002). A Comparative Study of Referendums: Government by the People. Manchester: doi
    2. (1997). Contrasting Styles of Democratic Decision-Making: Adversarial versus doi
    3. (2004). Deblockierung durch Kooptation? Eine Fallstudie zur Aufnahme der Katolisch-Konservativen doi
    4. (1984). Democracies: Patterns of Majoritarian and Consensus Government in Twenty-One Countries. doi
    5. (1998). Démocratie Directe. doi
    6. (2000). Direct Democracy or Representative Government? Dispelling the Populist Myth. doi
    7. (2004). Electoral Engineering. New York:
    8. (2001). How Does Direct Democracy Matter? The Impact of Referendum Votes on Politics and Policy-Making.” doi
    9. (1990). Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability. Cambridge: doi
    10. (1997). Initiative et Référendum Populaires. 2nd ed.
    11. (1999). La Formulation de la Décision.”
    12. (2004). La Question Jurassienne. Lausanne: Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes. doi
    13. (1995). Le Système Politique Suisse. doi
    14. (1996). Lijpharts Demokrtatietypen und die Direkte Demokratie.” Zeitschrift für
    15. (1995). New Social Movements in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis. doi
    16. (1999). Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries. doi
    17. (2002). Political Data in doi
    18. (1981). Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. doi
    19. (1999). Referendums and Democratic Government. doi
    20. (1994). Referendums around the World: The Growing Use of Direct Democracy. doi
    21. (1998). Swiss Democracy. 2nd ed. doi
    22. (1983). The Case of Swiss Referenda 339McRae, Kenneth D.
    23. (1998). The Measurement ofVoting Power:Theory and Practice, Problems and Paradoxes. doi
    24. (2000). The Political Mobilization of the European Left, 1860–1980: The Class Cleavage. Cambridge: doi
    25. (2004). The Politics and Government of Switzerland. doi
    26. (2003). The Politics of Direct Democracy: Referendums in Global Perspective. doi
    27. (1999). The Populist Paradox: Interest Group Influence and the Promise of Direct Legislation. doi
    28. (1989). The Role of Semi-Direct Democracy in Shaping Swiss Federalism: The Behavior of Cantons Regarding doi
    29. (1994). The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy. doi

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.